Characterizing magnetized plasmas with dynamic mode decomposition

A. A. Kaptanoglu, K. D. Morgan, C. J. Hansen, S. L. Brunton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate and efficient plasma models are essential to understand and control experimental devices. Existing magnetohydrodynamic or kinetic models are nonlinear and computationally intensive and can be difficult to interpret, while often only approximating the true dynamics. In this work, data-driven techniques recently developed in the field of fluid dynamics are leveraged to develop interpretable reduced-order models of plasmas that strike a balance between accuracy and efficiency. In particular, dynamic mode decomposition (DMD) is used to extract spatio-temporal magnetic coherent structures from the experimental and simulation datasets of the helicity injected torus with steady inductive (HIT-SI) experiment. Three-dimensional magnetic surface probes from the HIT-SI experiment are analyzed, along with companion simulations with synthetic internal magnetic probes. A number of leading variants of the DMD algorithm are compared, including the sparsity-promoting and optimized DMD. Optimized DMD results in the highest overall prediction accuracy, while sparsity-promoting DMD yields physically interpretable models that avoid overfitting. These DMD algorithms uncover several coherent magnetic modes that provide new physical insights into the inner plasma structure. These modes were subsequently used to discover a previously unobserved three-dimensional structure in the simulation, rotating at the second injector harmonic. Finally, using data from probes at experimentally accessible locations, DMD identifies a resistive kink mode, a ubiquitous instability seen in magnetized plasmas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032108
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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